Shelswell Benefice

Shelswell Benefice

At a glance


  • Faith and ethics

Other details

Organisation type: 
Small or unincorporated organisation
Geographical remit: 


The Shelswell Benefice is comprised of 8 Church of England parishes in the north-east of Oxfordshire: Cottisford and Hardwick, Finmere, Fringford, Hethe, Mixbury, Newton Purcell, Stoke Lyne, Stratton Audley and Godington.    The Benefice is served by a small group of ministers who work across all the parishes.  This includes a full time priest and either a part time priest or a curate employed through the Diocese of Oxford, together with a retired priest and a lay minister who give their time voluntarily.

Each parish within the Benefice is governed by its own PCC (Parochial Church Council) and manages its own finances.   The Benefice is governed by the Benefice Council which largely comprises the ministry team and representatives from the parishes.  Its function is to manage any Benefice-wide activities and to give a steer to the activities of the parishes.

Our function is fundamentally to provide opportunities for Christian worship within our villages, to support members of the church in living out their faith in their day to day lives, and to be a caring and supportive presence within our communities.  As well as the various activities that we organise, we also support many of our members in their involvement in village life, for example, in their serving on the parish council or village hall committee, in being school governors or in simply being good neighbours.  We also have a responsibility for maintaining our historic buildings.


We meet our objectives by:

  • holding services for worship, providing opportunities for study and developing faith, 
  • baptisms, weddings and funerals,
  • providing pastoral care 
  • running a 'holiday at home' scheme for older adults, various coffee mornings and a monthly soup lunch after one of our services
  • running a weekly toddler group, a monthly service for families with crafts, worship and food, a children's holiday club during the summer holidays, 
  • contributing to communal worship in our two primary schools and to the Governing bodies
  • raising money to keep our historic buildings in good repair through village events (fetes, beer festivals, concerts etc) - which also bring the community together

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